EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State (7-0) volleyball opened up the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational with a narrow 3-2 win over IPFW (7-2) by scores of 23-25, 25-22, 25-15, 22-25 and 15-9. Four different Spartans notched double-digit kills and junior Lauren Wicinski led the way with 25. Freshman Halle Peterson had 27 assists and 12 digs, claiming her first career double-double.
"I think IPFW first of all, is a great team," head coach Cathy George said. "They played tremendous defense. We had a lot of blocked balls; they were covering and keeping everything off the floor. My hat is off to them, they were great. I think our team, we were pressed, and I think it was a great test for us. We had to come back and fight through adversity and start to get clumps back to come back to win. I thought that was really important, we showed a lot of composure."
Kristen Kelsay led MSU with 31 assists on the night and Kori Moster had 26 digs for the Spartans. Amy Dentlinger was second behind Wicinski in kills with 15 and Alexis Mathews chipped in with four blocks in the win.
Michigan State dropped the first set to IPFW, 25-23, in a back-and-forth game. The Spartans lead late, 23-22, forcing an IPFW timeout but couldn't hang onto the narrow margin. The Mastodons came back with three quick points to take a 1-0 lead, and were led by six kills from Emily Spencer.
The Spartans evened things up in the second set, winning 25-22 but didn't take the lead in the set before going up late, 21-20. Mathews and Dentlinger had a block to make it 24-21 and Dentlinger ended the set with a kill from Kelsay, evening the match at one a piece.
The third set was dominated by Michigan State with 14 kills and only one error, leading to a .650 hitting percentage and a 25-15 win in set three. Wicinski had five kills in the set and Kelsey Kuipers added three.
MSU dropped the fourth set, 25-22, before winning the decisive fifth set, 15-9. The Spartans jumped out to an 8-5 lead after a Kuipers kill and never looked back. Taylor Galloway finished off the Mastodons with her 12th kill of the night, helping the Spartans remain undefeated on the season.
Michigan State is back in action tomorrow when it hosts Albany at 12 p.m. and Georgia at 7:30 p.m., in day two at the Auto-Owners Insurance Spartan Invitational.